PHILADELPHIA – Victoria’s Secret, Pelotonia, and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) today announced the recipients of The Victoria’s Secret Global Fund for Women’s Cancers 2022 Meritorious Awards, In Partnership with Pelotonia & AACR. These new scientific achievement awards are intended to recognize five influential female researchers who have made pioneering contributions to the fundamental understanding and/or treatment of breast or any form of gynecologic cancer. The awards will be presented at the AACR Annual Meeting 2022, which will be held April 8-13 in New Orleans.
“We have long supported cancer research, but this particular program – accelerating innovation in cancer research for women, by women – is a tangible way we’re bringing to life our brand’s vision of being a leading advocate for women,” said Christy Tostevin, senior vice president of communications and community relations, Victoria’s Secret. “We are exceptionally proud to share the fund’s inaugural award with five outstanding women who have been leading this critically important work for decades, and are inspiring the next generation of women leaders in cancer.”
“The opportunity provided to women in cancer research by The Victoria’s Secret Global Fund for Women’s Cancers is about so much more than just funding,” said Doug Ulman, chief executive officer, Pelotonia. “The five, extraordinary leaders receiving the inaugural award will be given a platform to share about their work to save and improve the lives of women on a global stage, and help develop the next generation of research talent through thoughtful mentorship and collaboration.”
The five meritorious award recipients are:
Joan S. Brugge, PhD, FAACR (Photo)
Louise Foote Pfeiffer Professor of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School; Co-Director, Ludwig Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
- For lifelong investigations dedicated to unraveling mechanisms of cancer initiation, progression, and drug resistance that contribute to human carcinogenesis; isolation of the protein encoded by the src transforming gene of Rous sarcoma virus; and the use of three-dimensional culture conditions to reveal significant changes in the organization of normal tissue associated with cancer. Adamant about identifying vulnerabilities of tumor cells that can be targeted for therapeutic intervention, Dr. Brugge’s work has provided invaluable insights into the mechanisms of therapeutic resistance and has led to the development of numerous strategies for overcoming drug resistance.
Susan M. Domchek, MD (Photo)
Executive Director, Basser Center for BRCA and Basser Professor in Oncology, Abramson Cancer Center, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- For demonstrating that genetic testing for high penetrance cancer susceptibility genes can improve risk assessment, inform appropriate risk reduction strategies, and be used to develop targeted therapeutics, and for applying this paradigm to genetic information across the pathogenicity and penetrance spectrum. An international expert in the translation of genetic testing for cancer susceptibility, Dr. Domchek has revolutionized the clinical care of patients in the areas of cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment and has shown that prophylactic salpingo-oophorectomy decreases the risk of breast and ovarian cancer and is associated with improved survival in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers. She has also been instrumental in the development of PARP inhibitors and immunologic therapies as potential treatments for BRCA1/2 mutation-associated cancers of multiple types, including breast, pancreas, and ovarian cancer.
Karen H. Lu, MD (Photo)
Professor and Chair, Department of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine; J. Taylor Wharton Distinguished Chair in Gynecologic Oncology; Co-Director, MD Anderson Clinical Cancer Genetics Program; Director, High Risk Ovarian Cancer Screening Clinic; Director, Uterine Cancer Research Program, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
- For fundamental studies of endometrial cancer in Lynch Syndrome and defining criteria to identify and medically manage women with Lynch Syndrome, and for leading efforts in the prevention of hereditary endometrial and ovarian cancers in Lynch Syndrome, the prevention of ovarian cancer in women with germline mutations of BRCA1 or BRCA2, and the prevention of sporadic endometrial cancer in obese women. Dr. Lu’s innovative prospective national clinical trials have focused on the identification of tissue biomarkers and prevention of endometrial cancer in women with Lynch Syndrome, ovarian cancer screening and novel prevention strategies in high-risk women, and expanded opportunities for genetic testing to identify women at increased risk for cancer.
Lisa A. Newman, MD, MPH (Photo)
Chief, Section of Breast Surgery, New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center; Leader, Multidisciplinary Breast Oncology Programs, New York-Presbyterian David H. Koch Center, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, New York
- For significantly advancing the understanding of the etiology of breast cancers in African and African American women through an innovative and groundbreaking international program focusing on the study of triple negative breast cancer in women with African ancestry. Dr. Newman’s seminal work regarding the interplay of genetics and the social determinants of health continues to have a far-reaching global impact as these findings become translated into better treatment options for all women with triple negative breast cancers.
Martine J. Piccart, MD, PhD, FAACR (Photo)
Honorary Professor of Oncology, Université Libre de Bruxelles; Scientific Director, Institut Jules Bordet, Brussels, Belgium
- For visionary and unparalleled leadership in advancing breast cancer clinical trials and drug development, and for optimizing genetic profiling of breast cancer subtypes to enhance cancer diagnosis techniques and improve treatment strategies and regimens. Dr. Piccart’s paramount cancer research efforts have included the foundation of the Brussels-based Breast International Group (BIG), focused on fostering internationally collaborative clinical trials.
Each awardee will receive a $100,000 honorarium and will be invited to serve as an active participant and mentor in a broader women’s cancers grant program, which will include multi-year research grants for both established and early-stage investigators. This grant program will be funded by The Victoria’s Secret Global Fund for Women’s Cancers and administered by the AACR and Pelotonia.
“We are thrilled to recognize these five remarkable female researchers at this year’s AACR Annual Meeting,” said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), chief executive officer, AACR. “Drs. Brugge, Domchek, Lu, Newman, and Piccart have made seminal contributions to our progress against breast and gynecologic cancers. Collectively, their research has deepened our understanding of these diseases, improved cancer prevention and screening techniques, led to improvements in medical and surgical treatments, and saved countless lives worldwide.”
The Victoria’s Secret Global Fund for Women’s Cancers 2022 Meritorious Awards, In Partnership with Pelotonia & AACR, reflect the broader commitment of these organizations to supporting the professional advancement of female cancer researchers; to consistently investing in innovative approaches to the understanding, prevention, detection, diagnosis, and treatment of women’s cancers; and to improving and saving the lives of women around the world.